on 2 June 2014
“Seasons of Light and Darkness” by Michael A. Martin is an Original Series novella which focuses on part of Dr. McCoy’s life before he joined the Enterprise that was mentioned in the TV episode, “Friday's Child”. This period of his life is when he spent time on the planet Capella IV as part of time sent there to look at accessing a highly valued mineral. Whilst there he discovers that the natives have a rather warrior like ideology where people live and die by their own wits and it is wrong to interfere in that with medicine or other sciences. McCoy of course doesn’t appreciate this view point and must try to walk the line between his oath to Starfleet in regards to respecting other cultures and his oaths as a Doctor to try and save lives.
In addition to this main storyline there is also a framing story set in 2285 which focuses on McCoy trying to relate his own experiences to that of Kirk who was suffering from his time as a desk bound Admiral. This was actually one of things I didn’t really get with the novella to be honest. I saw the link between the two points but the story he tells just didn’t feel like something that McCoy would have only finally revealed at that point.
In regards to the Capella part of the story, well it was fun to follow and I found the titbits about Capellan culture rather interesting to follow. In addition McCoy felt in character and I appreciated that this novella was being used as a character piece rather than just trying to be a short version of standard Star Trek novels. Although I do have to say that whilst I did enjoy reading it I am not sure if really revealed anything new about the character.
Overall, this is a okay novella that acts an interesting character piece on McCoy. I do think the framing story didn’t work as well as it could have done and I am not sure if we really learned that much new about McCoy but I still enjoyed it and appreciated the way in which it reminded me of DeForest Kelly who created this great character.
on 7 May 2014
After the reader is gifted with a tribute toa classic scene from star trek history in the prologue, the book gets down to business. The story revolves around Leonard McCoy's first assignment since joining Starfleet, where just about every Federation law, rule, section and sub-section is either completely broken, ignored and obliterated into nothingness. :-)
Landing on an obscure planet in order to negotiate with its inhabitants for access to a highly valued mineral, McCoy and the rest of the away team is attacked by an indigeneous animal and he is feared dead. The group of Star Fleet personnel is met by natives who take the party back to home base, where they and the reader soon learn how primitive this world really is.
McCoy is the hero of this tale (or is it medicine itself?) but the reader is hit by a storm of values and missives with every page turn and chapter. Characterisation on both sides of the story is sell done. Humour appears in tiny amount to bookend the tale.
As for the ending, and the book's ultimate message? That is for you to discover. So go on, launch your kindle into cyberspace to explore strange new worlds, new civilsations and boldly go where you have not been before. Just like on TV. But not on the Enterprise.
Four stars for this solid effort.